Quartet return for Kings clash
Full back Zane Kirchner returns to the starting line-up to face his countrymen as Dragons kick-off the tour of South Africa against Isuzu Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14 on Sunday (kick-off 2pm UK time).
Former Springbok international Kirchner is one of four changes made by Head Coach Ceri Jones – all in the back division – for the clash at NMU Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
A new-look centre partnership sees Adam Warren - fresh from signing a new long-term contract at Dragons - and Jack Dixon combine in midfield. The final change to the team is a starting spot for fly half Josh Lewis.
Hooker Richard Hibbard will captain the team. Elliot Dee misses the game having not yet fully recovered from his injury during the Six Nations.
Prop Ryan Bevington could make his first league appearance since late December after being named among the replacements. Lock Huw Taylor is also named in the match day squad.
Head Coach Jones said: “We’ve had a good first few days in South Africa, with a fantastic training base in Port Elizabeth at Nelson Mandela University, and the players are looking forward to getting into the games.
“We are determined to try and get that away win, but also aware of the challenge we face against the Kings, a team close to us in the league standings.
“The Kings are one of the most dangerous sides in the competition when it gets loose with a very talented and quick back three. We respect them and we know what we need to do.
“We are looking forward to getting started,” he added. “We have named a squad with enough talent and experience to be able to achieve – we just need to go out and deliver.”
Dragons (v Isuzu Southern Kings): Zane Kirchner, Jared Rosser, Adam Warren, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Josh Lewis, Rhodri Williams; Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard (c), Leon Brown, Max Williams, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Ryan Bevington, Lloyd Fairbrother, Huw Taylor, Lennon Greggains, Tavis Knoyle, Jason Tovey, Jordan Williams